The Shtrimpkind Hagaddah

 Posted by on March 24, 2013
Mar 242013
 

Pesach sheep tied to the bed

 

Pesach is coming. Now that the world is more wired, there are way more than Four Sons. The internet speaks of Many Sons. And Daughters. What do they say?

Compiled by the Vaad Ha-gudah

1. Rationalist Rabbi, mah hu omer? “Grasshoppers are yummy with a spritz of lemon juice! Shulchan Orech treats!”

2. Failed Messiah, mah hu omer? “Chareidi Matzah Bakery Investigated For Using Hepatitis-Tainted Baby’s Blood.”

3. Reb Lazer Emunah Blogger, mah hu omer? “I met a Yid who was sad because he couldn’t pay his Pesach food bills. I showed him how to howl at the moon in the forest and now he grows the best hash this side of the Judean Hills and is making lots of moolah!”

4. DovBear, mah hu omer? “The Church’s sacramental wafers are literally made with Jews’ blood. They themselves believe it, look it up! Christ’s body. And they owe us for Pesach copyright infringement.”

5. Shulem Deen, mah hu omer? “The women have a point, and I deeply respect it, but actually men need a Pesach liberation movement too. I clearly remember what a fucking expensive pain in the ass schlepping boxes of grape juice is. And my wife always insisted on the glass bottles, not the plastic ones.”

6. Judy Brown, mah hi omeret? “If I had a choice there’d be 2.1 children, not Four Sons, but we have no choice. That’s when I realized we are broken vessels”

7. Rabbi Eliyahu Fink, mah hu omer? “The frum world IS terrible, but we should keep a level head and admit it and here’s why.”

8. Rabbi Avi Shafran, mah hu omer? “The frum world isn’t completely fine, true, but that’s only because people keep saying it isn’t. And I am not and never was a blogger.”

9. Daas Hedyot, mah hu omer? “Tattelayben2, maybe your experience was different, but as the author of this article writes, many frum Jews do not give a secular education in the Haggadah and do feed their children unsweetened maror.”

10. LV, mah hi omeret? “We should all feel free to be anything and anyone, except Chareidim — because they are not feeling free.”

12. Mississippi Fred MacDowell, mah hu omer? “In the 18th century, surprisingly, the minhag was to eat chometz at the second seder, and you can see it from this document…”

13. Libby Libtown, mah hi omeret? “Ohr Le-arba ossur boydkin my cute new purple top le-ohr ha-ner.” (Pesachim 2a, ayin sham)

14. Rabbi Gil Student, mah hu omer? “There’s nothing wrong with paskening that quinoa is kitniyos and this doesn’t mean that Orthodoxy is becoming more extreme. Ask your local Orthodox rabbi or mentor.”

15. Brenda Turtle, mah hi omeret? “Chad Gadyoooooo, sweeties. Ha ha ha, dahlink. I vant to be frim again!”

16. Deborah Feldman, mah hi omeret? “My Scandalous Rejection of my Egyptian Roots is coming out soon and it will be longer and more exciting than the Haggadah.”

17. Rachmuna Litzlon, mah hu omer? “Instead of burning the chometz freaking feed the people in Haiti. Lechem oni, my ass.”

18. Shpitzle Shtrimpkind, ma hi omeret? “Dayenu!”

19.(Ed note: Shpitzig, mah hu omer? “? ?? ?????? ???? ??”)

On the Before and After

 Posted by on March 11, 2013
Mar 112013
 
Before leaving and after leaving

This cartoon was commissioned; I was asked to draw a before and after with approximate instructions. When it was done, I immediately worried about the before. The family looks too warm and sane. Doesn’t the official “before” picture come with an abusive rabbi in a dark basement or some dysfunctional family which festers dark secrets behind closed doors?

I suppose, I thought, after my pencil had brought to life a crowded and safe home, for me this is how I remember it. A religious childhood home can be safe, and warm and rich with tradition and it can still be stifling and oppressive and limited. It’s what makes leaving so damn hard.

Most of the time the journey from Hasidism out is depicted in a before and after template, the before picture consisting of a droopy nosed Hasid in a wild beard and a bride in frightening eighties wedding gown and hair that stands as wide as the shoulder pads. The after picture is glorified by a full shave, a target tshirt, the dippity do from the payos now in the hair. All of it, the critics say, very superficial.

So I took it upon myself to conduct a longitudinal survey with forty samples and find out what their before and after is like in words. The scientific approach behind it was to post the question on facebook and ask people to describe their before and after. The first thing the study proved is that OTDs are a group of wise guys which we knew already. And more seriously, and interestingly, that for most people the journey of before and after is the process of embracing individuality; tearing yourself out of a strong communal setting that leaves little room for the individual and making something of yourself. For many, it is not even a matter of rejecting religion. It is simply rejecting the groupthink. Here are some I got:

EM: Before I obsessed over making every minute of the day meaningful for the afterlife; now I make my life meaningful to me, in this world.

MW: Before, I was a cog in the wheel. Now I’m in the driver’s seat.

YM: Before I was Gd/religion centric and squished myself in wherever I could ; now I am me centric and fit in religion wherever it enhances my life.

CCN: Before I my kids were only nachas machines and ways for me to serve an unknown God, spending my time not with them but trying to appease God; now I actually listen to them and do things with them “just because” without any goal.

AK: Before I was following them… now I follow my heart, my God, my ????

SK: Before I did everything for the After, now I am undoing everything from the Before. (FV: lol!)

YS: Before, there was an after. (FV: and after?)

PS: Before I was “it”, now I am ME.

CS: Before I was humanoid and annoyed… I’ve since joined the humans, and now my life is enjoyed and amusing.

CW: Before I lied to and hid from my children, now we are working together to embrace an honest future.

Fred MacDowell: Before I liked cookies. Now I bake cookies. (FV: for this before an after we do actually need a picture.)

AB: Before my life belonged to others. Now, it belongs to me.

AB: Before I spent all my time delving into the gemara. Now I spend it on Facebook.

Ha ha. You gotta admit, it’s the (after) life!